Jocelyn and Josiah Lockhart own the Lockhart Family farm located in Woodford, Virginia. From Fredericksburg it’s a short 30 minute drive into Caroline County. The Lockharts focus on rare and heritage breed animals raised freely on their woodland style farm. They are big supporters and proponents of Slow Food and often write, discuss and present on the subject of Slow Food and heritage breed animals. The Lockharts utilize many permaculture methods on their farm creating not only a natural and healthy environment for the animals they raise but for the land they use as well.
I had the opportunity to meet the Lockharts at a monthly Pathways meeting in Fredericksburg where they came to discuss permaculture and their practices. I had already been chatting with Jocelyn about their personal care products including some wonderful soaps and oils.
After meeting the Lockharts in January, I talked with them about coming out to visit their farm. Though it was the middle of the winter, we headed out in February to visit. The middle of the winter isn’t the highest point for growth, but it was completely evident to me then that tending to a farm is not a seasonal affair. Jocelyn and Josiah were busy caring for a new litter to piglets that had been born on January first in the midst of one of those polar vortexes we had. The explained how they try to intervene as little as possible in the lives of the pigs, so when the piglets were born, despite the frigid temperatures, they kept hands off and let the mother pig care for her piglets. It shouldn’t come to a surprise to me that the mother pig created a burrow for her piglets with materials in their living area. Each piglet was nursed and cared for by mother pig alone and not a piglet was lost.
In our family we have focused on local eating and living. We try to purchase only meats that are raised locally, but even still there is a huge disconnect between the animal that is raised and the food I put on my table. Visiting the Lockhart’s and really seeing how they raise their rare and heritage breed animals really helped for to completely understand the absolute difference between a commercially produced animal and a naturally raised one.
Last week, I headed back out to the Lockhart’s farm, this time my kids in tow because we were picking up a number of Leghorn chicks that they had been given. Jocelyn had emailed several weeks earlier with the news that she had a huge lot of chicks coming that needed homes. Since my husband and I had already been working on expanding out mini-farm in Spotsylvania, we jumped at the opportunity.
This time, the weather was definitely more favorable, and we got to again, take a a walk around the farm. The kids were amazed at how the Lockhart’s farm was run. They marveled at the large turkeys roaming around as well as the ducks and other animals. The piglets that we had met months earlier were now adolescents and new babies had joined the farm scene. Josiah introduced us to a number rare breed ducklings that were only a few weeks old and to their surprise, the kids got to hold the little ones as well.
Since then, we have joined Slow Food RVA and are excited to work with the Lockharts in the future to help to continue to promote Slow Food in Fredericksburg!